Dodgers vs. Brewers Odds
|Time||Friday, 8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings|
The Los Angeles Dodgers will face the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 2 of a four-game series on Friday night. One of these teams sits atop its division, and it is not the defending World Series Champions.
Los Angeles (16-10) fell a half-game behind San Francisco in the National League West on Thursday night and are up against the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers (15-10), who lead the Cardinals by two games.
The Dodgers are just 3-7 in their last 10 games after falling 2-1 on Thursday. The rhyming matchup of Trevor Bauer vs. Eric Lauer was a pitchers’ duel. Bauer went all eight innings for Los Angeles, allowing just two runs on four hits, while Lauer went five scoreless frames and allowed just four hits. The Brewers’ bullpen took over and allowed just one run over the final four innings.
A two-run home run by Travis Shaw in the fourth inning was the difference, giving the Dodgers their fourth loss in five games.
Let’s break down the second game at American Family Field.
Los Angeles Dodgers
It looks like the Dodgers will go with a bullpen game on Friday night. As of this writing, the opener has not yet been announced, although it looks like it could be Alex Vesia who gets the ball to start. While Vesia is considered a solid prospect, the 25-year old has just five games of MLB experience and allowed 10 runs in 4 1/3 innings last year for the Marlins. He has yet to make an appearance this season.
The Los Angeles bullpen has been relied on less than any other team in the league this season because of how good its starting pitching has been. In its limited action, though, the relief corps has only been average. The Dodgers relievers rank just 13th in ERA and 14th in xFIP. Their bullpen struggles with control at times, having the fifth-most walks per nine innings in the league.
On top of their struggles, this bullpen is really thin due to injuries. The Dodgers placed Brusdar Graterol on the injured list on Thursday with forearm tightness. The team is already without relievers Corey Knebel, David Price, Joe Kelly, Tony Gonsolin and Caleb Ferguson.
The defending World Series Champions still possess one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball. Los Angeles currently sits second in the league with a .347 on-base percentage and .332 wOBA while ranking in wRC+.
The Dodgers have gotten just four games this season out of 2019 NL Most Valuable Player Award winner Cody Bellinger, who is on the injured list with a hairline fracture in his left leg. Instead, the Dodgers have been led by third baseman Justin Turner and his .344 batting average. Turner leads the team in hits, doubles, RBIs and home runs.
The Dodgers’ lineup has enough talent that it should always be feared, but LA has struggled a bit recently, batting just .199 over the last 15 days, which is 28th in MLB.
The Dodgers’ pitching staff is no doubt one the best in the league, but Milwaukee is not far behind. The Brewers staff is highlighted by Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, but Friday’s starter Freddy Peralta has also been really good. After spending the last two seasons working primarily out of the bullpen, Peralta has made four starts this season and has allowed six runs in 22 innings.
Peralta has an incredible 15.55 K/9 rate, the fifth best in the majors, and just behind his teammate Burnes.
The biggest reason for Peralta’s success this season has been his change in approach. Commonly referred to as “Fastball Freddy,” Peralta might need a new nickname. After throwing his fastball on 78% of his pitches in 2018 and 2019, he is throwing it just 55.6% of the time this season.
Instead, Peralta added a slider to his arsenal last season and is throwing it at a 35.6% clip this year. He’s not just throwing the slider for variety either — it has been his best pitch. Opponents are batting just .121 against it and have a 52.8 K%.
Peralta has a .139 expected batting average against, according to Baseball Savant, the lowest mark of any pitcher in baseball. He ranks in the top 10 percent in HardHit%, xwOBA, xERA, Whiff% and K%.
While the Brewers’ pitching staff is on the same tier as the Dodgers, their lineup certainly is not.
Milwaukee ranks just 26th in baseball with a .215 batting average and 27th with a .666 OPS. They sit 25th in wOBA and 27th wRC+. The Brewers have just one player with more than three home runs this year and their best hitter has been catcher Omar Narváez.
The Brewers will continue to be without outfielders Christian Yelich (back) and Lorenzo Cain (quadriceps), who have each played fewer than 10 games and remain on the injured list.
Luckily, Milwaukee did get offseason acquisition Kolten Wong back in the lineup last week. He has come back on fire, batting .480 with 12 hits in his seven games since returning.
This looks like it will be a bullpen game for the Dodgers. That worries me since LA’s relievers have been inconsistent, the bullpen is without a number of key arms.
The Dodgers’ ‘pen is responsible for a 4-6 record this season when it has come down to them. Teams are batting .239 against their backend, 20th in the league.
Despite the difference in offensive talent and numbers over the season as a whole, the Brewers actually have a higher batting average, OPS, wOBA and wRC+ over the last 14 days than the Dodgers.
Peralta has been excellent this year and has some of the best swing-and-miss stuff in the league right now. It is a good thing he is no longer “Fastball Freddy” because the Dodgers rank 19th against sliders this season, which has been Peralta’s best pitch.
It is always scary betting against this Los Angeles lineup, but I think there is value on Milwaukee because of the fact. Back the Brew Crew at home against the struggling Dodgers on Friday night.
Pick: Brewers +115 or better